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The Article Galaxy Blog

The Challenges of Copyright Compliance in Research & How Advanced Tools Can Help

Research Solutions|Marketing Team
Research Solutions|Marketing Team
June 4, 2024
6 min read

It’s no great secret that copyright compliance poses significant challenges for R&D-driven organizations, and that its complexities can feel like obstacles for research teams.

However, copyright compliance is also a crucial element of any scientific research project or knowledge management initiative. Sharing research results and data is crucial for scientific and technical advancements, emphasizing the importance of copyright in scientific information.

What Really Makes Copyright Compliance in Research So Complicated?

There are a number of key factors that contribute to the often-convoluted nature of copyright compliance:

Complex Legal Framework: Copyright laws vary by country and can be intricate and difficult to interpret. Understanding and adhering to these laws requires specialized knowledge and dedicated workforce capacity, particularly for global teams.

Volume of Materials: Research teams are dealing with an ever-increasing information overload, and keeping track of the copyright status of all needed material can be overwhelming.

Evolving Regulations: Copyright regulations are constantly evolving. Staying updated with the latest changes and ensuring compliance with new rules is a continuous challenge.

Access and Usage Rights: Determining whether they have the right to use, share, or modify a particular work can be complicated. Licensing agreements and re-use rights add layers of complexity. Moreover, the growth of Open Access (OA) publishing, with its diverse models and licensing restrictions, further complicates the situation.

Risk of Infringement: The consequences of copyright infringement can be severe, including legal penalties and financial damages. This risk makes compliance a high-stakes issue, adding pressure on research teams.

Interdepartmental Coordination: Ensuring compliance often requires coordination between various departments, such as legal, procurement, and research. This coordination can be difficult to manage effectively.

Digital Environment: The digitalization of research materials has made access easier, but it has also introduced new challenges in tracking and managing copyrights in an online environment.

These factors combined create a complex and demanding environment for research teams across industries to maintain copyright compliance. Addressing such issues within organizations necessitates a systematic approach to effectively navigate these challenges.

Simplifying Copyright Compliance with Article Galaxy’s Re-Use Insights

Article Galaxy’s Re-Use Insights tool provides a simple way for researchers to search and filter copyright information, ensuring they instantly know if content is safe to use.

This powerful tool has become essential for many organizations, helping them maintain copyright compliance. Bringing critical article re-use information directly to those who need it, whether they’re browsing the organization’s PDF Library or requesting a newly published article. Enhanced Article Galaxy functionality makes copyright compliance more accessible, not just for end users and researchers, but also for information professionals and administrators.

Researchers can often struggle with the variety of sources providing accurate information on how an article can be re-used. Re-Use Insights addresses this by consolidating information from various sources of truth to ensure correct and comprehensive guidance. These sources include:

Publisher-Supplied Licensing Data: This is information provided directly by publishers, detailing how their content can be used and re-used.

Customer-Supplied Licensing Data: Information from customers about specific relationships with publications, including tokens or subscriptions, is integrated into the platform.

Open Access and Creative Commons Licenses: This unique information, often not available elsewhere, comes directly from publishers and details how open access articles can be used and re-used in a commercial environment.

Reproduction Rights Organizations: Information from organizations like the CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) and the CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) is also incorporated, reflecting any relationships customers may have with these bodies.

By merging these diverse sources, Re-Use Insights provides users with accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information on copyright compliance, making it easier to tackle the multifaceted world of scholarly publishing.


Exploring Re-Use Insights in Article Galaxy

Let's take a moment to explore the user interface (UI) of Article Galaxy Re-Use Insights.


1. At the top, you can see the metadata for this citation, including publication, author information, and DOI.

2. You’ll also see a link to save it to Article Galaxy References, our bibliographic utility.

3. Citations are timestamped with the specific date and time of re-use rights information. This is important because articles can change from open access to paid status and vice versa. Having a paper trail ensures you can prove compliant use. You can email or print this page for your records, ensuring you paid the applicable copyright fees.

We also provide a disclaimer that outlines re-use rights, common copyright submissions, and the types of results you might see, such as "granted" or "available via purchase." You also might see "request a quote" or "to be determined." In this case, our customer support would contact you directly with information on compliant use. Our 24/7 customer support, staffed by copyright experts, is available to assist with any follow-up questions.

Finally, you'll find a list of four common intended uses. This list is customizable to suit your organization's specific needs.

Leveraging Re-Use Insights

Let's dive into how Article Galaxy streamlines copyright compliance by prioritizing re-use rights. This robust tool seamlessly integrates into your literature search and review process, providing a range of access options and ensuring your usage aligns with legal requirements.


Within Article Galaxy, you can directly search for re-use rights within a specific publication, such as "Nature Biotechnology." Based on the publication year, you will be able to determine how you can use the article according to compliance. Some publications may have changed their compliance regulations when moving from print to electronic, so you can modify the year to get the most accurate information.

You can also search by PubMed ID or DOI, leveraging third-party resources, like Google Scholar, you can pull IDs to search within our system. 

Additionally, we are able to load custom publisher rights. Agreements with publishers on other licenses, such as CLA, will also be displayed when searching re-use rights in Article Galaxy.

Compliantly Acquiring Content

Article Galaxy searches offer various access options, including purchase, rental, Open Access, and subscriptions. The platform integrates with company holdings, tokens, and subscriptions to ensure access is truly comprehensive.

Open access can be particularly tricky to navigate, with common licenses like CCBY and CBYNC (non-commercial). Depending on how you intend to use the article, these are important distinction because some publishers prohibit commercial use.

At the point of purchase, you can specify the intended use by selecting from a menu and confirm the re-use rights granted across the organization. You can choose from the four most commonly intended uses:

•    For use by myself or for a colleague within my organization
•    For external use (such as medical affairs)
•    Distribute a digital copy to a regulatory authority or legal authority
•    A single copy distribution outside my organization

The first three are often covered by copyright that you have purchased for internal use; but our Re-use Insights functionality will check against all of these throughout your entire literature acquisition and management processes.

If intended use is single-copy distribution outside your organization, oftentimes you will have to pay individual copyright fees for each distribution. For example, a biopharmaceutical company submitting research to doctors' offices or other external organizations would need to pay individual copyright fees for each distribution.

After Purchase

"My Orders" is our dedicated eCommerce site where you can view all your orders. Here, you can save articles to Article Galaxy References, easily reorder required articles, request supplementary material with a click, and, of course, check re-use rights. Even if an order was canceled, you can still verify its re-use rights by navigating to the Re-Use Insights UI.

The interface clearly shows the intended use of each article you ordered, making it simple to determine if you can re-use it for the same purpose. All acquired materials are stored in your Company's PDF Library.

If you are unaware of how an article was originally purchased and need to submit it for medical affairs, you can verify the intended use within the organization. For external distribution, such as to other organizations or for medical affairs, you may need to pay additional copyright fees.

By checking your orders, you can ensure that you are compliant with copyright regulations and re-use articles appropriately for different intended uses.

Article Galaxy Extension

If you are utilizing other third-party systems in your discovery work, such as Google Scholar, our Article Galaxy Extension allows you to expand the usage of Re-Use Insights to these systems. 

While Google Scholar doesn't support discovery import for many options, our extension can locate DOIs or other identifiers, showing that articles can be searched within Article Galaxy. It cross-references information on search results pages with open access information, as well as filters your holdings and your PDF Library, if available. From there, you can check re-use rights and see what's allowed for different options.

Our extension works with other tools such as PubMed. Additionally, if you use a third-party discovery system, we support OpenURL, allowing you to link back to the Article Galaxy Platform where you can purchase or access the article. This method of literature acquisition is helpful because, even if the article is Open Access, acquiring it through Article Galaxy will add it to your PDF Library. Plus, if the article is then searched for again by a colleague, it will show up under duplicate detection.

Ensure Copyright Compliance in Your Research Workflow

Explore Article Galaxy's Re-Use Insights to maintain effortless compliance across your research, freeing up time to drive innovation. Reach out to our team for more information or to demo our solutions.

Join us this June for a special edition of our bi-weekly live training sessions on Article Galaxy, focusing on Re-Use Insights. Whether you're a regular attendee or considering joining for the first time, this is the perfect opportunity to explore new features and learn how they can enhance your research and compliance efforts.

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    Research Solutions|Marketing Team


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